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When Storms Cause Electrical Problems
What Can I Do to get the Power Back On After a Storm? Storm Damaged Home Electrical Systems, Water and Flood Damaged Electrical Wiring.By: Dave Rongey
Storm Damaged Electrical Systems
Storm Damage – Question #1: What can I do to get the power back on after a storm?
A storm came through yesterday and tripped a number of circuit breakers. I reset all of the breakers, but several of the GFCI outlets are still not working. Is there something else I can do short of replacing the outlets?
This electrical question came from Sesha, a Homeowner in Houston, Texas.
Thanks for your electrical repair question Sesha.
Storm Damaged Home Electrical Systems
Severe storms can produce a variety of potential problems with home electrical systems. Replacing outlets is most likely not the problem. From what you are describing if all the circuit breakers have been reset and turned back on and you are still having trouble then I would encourage you to contact your homeowners insurance company or a licensed professional electrical contractor who will perform a variety of electrical tests which will identify the problems and then make the necessary repairs.
Water and Flood Damaged Electrical Wiring
When extreme flooding occurs and home electrical wiring that is not rated for moisture has become saturated with water then the wiring should be replaced. In areas where there is a high probability of flooding it may be best to install the home electrical wiring with materials which are approved for moisture, such as PVC conduits, fittings and PVC boxes and THWN wire. When extreme flooding occurs the outlets and switches should be replaced and a full inspection of the electrical system should be performed before restoring electrical power.
NOTE: All home assessments and repairs should be made through the local building authority and participating federal or state agencies. The home insurance company should be notified as well. All home repairs should be made by a licensed contractor.
Storm Damage – Question #2
Fran asks: Our sinks now have an electrical charge after a recent lightning strike, what should we do?
- From what you have described, if you are experiencing electrical problems after a lightning strike then I highly advise you to consider contacting a qualified electrician as soon as possible.The home electrical system may have been damaged and in need of repairs.
- If you are experiencing electrical shocks, then the electrical service should be turned off if at all possible, and stay away from all grounded areas of the home such as sinks, drains, bathtubs, showers, and water facets.
- Wear well insulated shoes with rubber soles as an added measure of protection.
Follow Up: from Fran – Damaged Ground System
Thank you Dave!
- We had an electrician come today. Though we had turn the electric box completely off, we returned off the water heater circuit and that helped the sinks stop being “hot.”
- He found our electric box grounding poles needed a new bracket (running 125 instead of 25.).
- So after digging down, installing a new clamp, we are now grounded safely.
- Again, I’m grateful to find your website and will recommend others to you. Thank you for actually answering as well!
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